We came across Akbars while looking for another restaurant and it looked so inviting that we abandoned our quest and headed in. It is a little off the beaten track, over the M8 at Charing Cross, but well worth the effort to locate.
Despite it being the Saturday before Christmas it wasn’t too busy and the greeter was happy to give us a nice table without a booking. At the risk of perpetuating a cliché the majority of our fellow diners were Asian so that looked a good sign that the food would be well made and authentic.
After our waiter showered the table with rose petals we started picking through the menu. There were large single laminated sheets and maybe not in keeping with the otherwise upmarket décor and vibe of the place, but they did save me leafing back and forth through a big book.
It was disappointing that there were no draught lagers but we made do with bottles of Cobra. We also had bottled water although they did brings jugs on request. We had popadoms with 4 dips to start and these did appear on the bill so watch out if you are expecting a complementary offering! Of the dips the chilli green one was best.
Our attentive waiter Vikram was pleasant and chatty and keen to learn about what we did and where we lived etc. I’m happy for this kind of banter but I could see how some reviewers found it a bit invasive.
I started with the chicken pakora which was fine. It was 4 large pieces with batter that made it more like something from a chippy than an Indian restaurant. We are in Glasgow of course so maybe it had been adapted for the locals! The sauce which promised rhubarb flavours was a bit bland but overall it was a pass. My wife had the Liver Tikka which she raved about. I don’t care for offal so can’t comment but she was only sad that she could only manage half of the massive portion lest she spoil her appetite for her main.
For the main I had a lamb and spinach balti which was excellent. The meat fell apart and the thick, rich sauce was divine. My wife had a Lazeez Balti which had several meats in a thick yellow sauce. She rated it among the best curries she’d ever had which is saying something! We also had a peshwari nan which was fine but I’ve had nicer - this was too doughy with not enough filling. Other tables had a regular nan which is served with some theatre on a big spike.
We were asked a couple of times if things were OK and our drinks were quickly replenished - I think they stayed just the right side of the attentive/overbearing line.
All things considered this was an excellent meal that came in at under £50 including all the drinks and extras. After we paid the bill we never saw our waiter again and there was no one to bid us goodnight at the door - a shame the friendly service ended abruptly once business was concluded! Don’t let the niggles put you off - it’s the food that matters and it was great.
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